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There is a way out


1 SEPTEMBER 2015 - 31 OCTOBER 2015

(Extended until October 31st)

PİLOT is hosting the new solo exhibition of Şener Özmen, a writer and well-known figure of contemporary art. Entitled “There is a way out”, the exhibition features the artist’s latest works between September 1 and October 10, 2015.

Şener Özmen questions whether there are certainties in current circumstances and situations, authoritarian structures and taboos that reign in our lives, through his wit and sense of humor, a lucid aesthetics and his critical, provocative style. Özmen's refined and lyrical works directs our attention to the perception of and changes in the context of art, and throws a critical glance at the social reality issues that the artist reacts against through his artistic attitude.

In “There is a way out” Özmen questions both his own reality as an artist and looks at the ways art handles subjects of significance. Embracing materials he has not used before, like concrete, metal and light-box, Özmen signals a new language and phase in his artistic practice.

The exhibition starts with a letter dated October 8th, 2014, which Şener Özmen sent to a post discussion on “Is The Museum a Battlefield?” that was organized by curator Övül Durmuşoğlu within the scope of The Moving Museum Istanbul. Özmen was supposed to participate this discussion in Istanbul along with artist Hito Steyerl and curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, Fulya Erdemci. However, he was unable to join them, because of a series of protests that started in Diyarbakir and caught on like wildfire in the region. That day, even though Şener Özmen could not be there, he attended to the discussion via Skype and during the event Durmuşoğlu read his quickly penned letter that begins with the salutation “Dear friends…” Özmen’s act of turning the letter into an "A4 size light beam" for the exhibition marks the mythological dimension upon which the conceptual framework is based.

Another work featured in the exhibition is a tripod trapped in a concrete pedestal. The tool turns into a sculpture that implies immobility, being anchored in space as well as refusing to leave one’s city and acceptance of the fate. The work “Tripod” that was made unremovable takes us back to the years when the artist didn’t / couldn’t use a tripod. Videos shot without a tripod, in open fields on the outskirts of the city create a language of their own. Why does the image shake? Why is the horizon line crooked? Why is the sound quality distorted? Why did he choose to shoot in direct sunlight? All these points that can be listed as problems to overcome would be vital to the next step taken by the artist; however, Özmen is very much interested in “the incomplete, broken and distorted”. To use Heidegger’s arguments, Özmen’s enframing is a way of revealing.

Şener Özmen (b.1971, İdil); artist, poet, critic and writer. His first writing on art appeared in art-ist Contemporary Art Magazine. His essays were published in BirGün newspaper as well as in magazines such as Sanat Dünyamız and Siyahî. He has taken part in group exhibitions at notable institutions including Centre Pompidou, Stedelijk Museum, Frac Corse, ENSBA, Arter, Istanbul Modern, Salt, Neues Museum, Seoul Museum of Art, Akademie der Kuenste, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Kunsthalle Fridericianum. He has also participated in Istanbul Biennial (2013, 2005), Chili (2005), Cetinje Biennial, Cetinje, Montenegro (2004), Seville Biennial, Seville, Spain (2004); Thessaloniki Biennial, Thessaloniki, Greece and Tirana (2013). Solo exhibitions include Zero Tolerance (Pilot, Istanbul, 2012), The Story of Sener Ozmen (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, 2011) and Original Message (with artist Cengiz Tekin, Outlet, 2009).

Parallel to his solo exhibition at the gallery, Özmen’s work will be featured in the exhibitions; “Concrete” (in cooperation with Muma, Tophane-i Amire, Istanbul), “Global Control and Censorship” (ZKM, Karlsruhe), “Remember Lidice” (Edition Block, Berlin and Museum Lidice, Czech Republic) and “Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury” (MAXXI-Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome).


How to tell of peace to a living dove?, 2015, Videostill